# saying mathematical expression

#### Akasaka

##### Senior Member
Hello members,
I am wondering how to read the following expression.
(1+2)×3-4+(5+6)×7+8+9=99
Here is the way I guessed it is read in English. Am I right?
The quantity, one plus two, close quantity, times three minus four, the quantity, five plus six, close quantity, times seven plus eight plus nine equals ninety-nine.

• #### S1m0n

##### Senior Member
I do not recognise the term 'close quantity".
"Brackets one plus two, times three, divided by 4, plus brackets five plus six, times seven, plus eight, plus nine equals ninety nine," is how i'd say it.

#### Akasaka

##### Senior Member
Thanks A1m0n.
If "Brackets one plus two, times three, minus four" is "(1+2)×3-4," then how do you read (1+2×3)-4?

#### S1m0n

##### Senior Member
"Open bracket, one plus two times three, close bracket, minus four.
However, I am not a mathematician. They may well have means of saying this that I do not know.

#### Uncle Jack

##### Senior Member
The easiest way would be "Open bracket one plus two close bracket times three minus four plus open bracket five plus six close bracket times seven plus eight plus nine equals ninety-nine". This is unambiguous, and in such a complicated expression I doubt I would try reading it out loud in any other way. It would enable anyone listening to write down the equation exactly.

"One plus two times three minus four". The brackets serve no purpose.

There are ways in which pairs of numbers in brackets added together or subtracted can be described using words and intonation rather than using the rather cumbersome "open bracket...close bracket", but if such a pair occurs in the middle of an equation, you do need intonation to mark the open bracket. For "(1+2)×3-4", you could say "one plus two in brackets times three minus four", for example, and this would be unambiguous, but when you come to "...+(5+6)×7", then if you say "plus five plus six in brackets times seven", you would need to stress the first "plus" and say "five plus six" relatively quickly with no stress on the "plus".

#### Akasaka

##### Senior Member
Thanks, everyone.
I want to make sure. () is parentheses and [] is brackets. So shouldn't (1+2)×3 be "Open parenthesis one plus two close parenthesis ...?

#### bennymix

##### Senior Member

J: "One plus two times three minus four". The brackets serve no purpose

The expression equals 3. Reason: multiplication takes priority over addition. Jack's English gives 5.

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#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
Hello members,
I am wondering how to read the following expression.
(1+2)×3-4+(5+6)×7+8+9=99
Here is the way I guessed it is read in English. Am I right?
The quantity, one plus two, close quantity, times three minus four, the quantity, five plus six, close quantity, times seven plus eight plus nine equals ninety-nine.

Yes, this is good. The "close quantity" may not be necessary by it doesn't hurt.

#### S1m0n

##### Senior Member
I want to make sure. () is parentheses and [] is brackets. So shouldn't (1+2)×3 be "Open parenthesis one plus two close parenthesis ...?
Where did you find that? To me, the symbols are brackets, and the phrase or clause enclosed is a parenthesis. If you need to distinguish, you can specify round or square brackets.

#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
"Open bracket, one plus two times three, close bracket, minus four.
However, I am not a mathematician. They may well have means of saying this that I do not know.
That is not correct. Same reason as in post #7.

#### S1m0n

##### Senior Member
That is not correct. Same reason as in post #7.
I get 3 following the order of operations in my version. How did you make that equal five?

#### Uncle Jack

##### Senior Member
Thanks, everyone.
I want to make sure. () is parentheses and [] is brackets. So shouldn't (1+2)×3 be "Open parenthesis one plus two close parenthesis ...?
You can use either. In BrE, "bracket" is common.
J: "One plus two times three minus four". The brackets serve no purpose

The expression equals 3. Jack's English gives 5.
(1+2×3)-4 = 3​
1+2×3-4 = 3​
What makes you think my answer gives 5? To get 5, you need (1+2)x3-4, and here the brackets are needed.

#### Akasaka

##### Senior Member
My original expression was (1+2)×3-4+(5+6)×7+8+9=99 . Not

#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
You can use either. In BrE, "bracket" is common.

(1+2×3)-4 = 3​
1+2×3-4 = 3​
What makes you think my answer gives 5? To get 5, you need (1+2)x3-4, and here the brackets are needed.
A person reading your sentence would not be doing the operations in the correct order, but in their order in your sentence.

J: J: "One plus two times three minus four". The person will do the addition first, based on your sentence, if it's standing alone.

#### RM1(SS)

##### Senior Member
Where did you find that? To me, the symbols are brackets, and the phrase or clause enclosed is a parenthesis. If
WRF Random House Learners:

pa•ren•the•sis /pəˈrɛnθəsɪs/
n. [countable], pl. -ses
/-ˌsiz/.
1. [Printing] either or both of a pair of signs () used in writing to mark off an extra remark that interrupts, explains, or adds to what was said.
WRF Collins:

2. Also called: bracket either of a pair of characters, (), used to enclose such a phrase or as a sign of aggregation in mathematical or logical expressions

#### RM1(SS)

##### Senior Member
The quantity, one plus two, close quantity, times three minus four plus, the quantity, five plus six, close quantity, times seven plus eight plus nine equals ninety-nine.
You left out an operation.

I would say "quantity," not "the quantity," and would leave out "close quantity." I would also put a brief, but clear, pause after each step: "... times seven, plus eight, plus nine, equals 99."

#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
You left out an operation.

I would say "quantity," not "the quantity," and would leave out "close quantity." I would also put a brief, but clear, pause after each step: "... times seven, plus eight, plus nine, equals 99."
Yes. We're in agreement. If some wish to say 'bracket' everywhere 'quantity' occurs, that works also. 'Close bracket' cannot be omitted.

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
In AE (that I've used all my life)

( ) are parentheses
[ ] are brackets or square brackets
< > are angle brackets
{ } are braces

There might be some regional differences with the later sets but the rounded ones have always been parentheses in American English to me.

Bracket (mathematics) - Wikipedia

#### Roxxxannne

##### Senior Member
In AE (that I've used all my life)

( ) are parentheses
[ ] are brackets or square brackets
< > are angle brackets
{ } are braces

There might be some regional differences with the later sets but the rounded ones have always been parentheses in American English to me.

Bracket (mathematics) - Wikipedia
I agree with kentix.

#### JulianStuart

##### Senior Member
In AE (that I've used all my life)

( ) are parentheses
[ ] are brackets or square brackets
< > are angle brackets
{ } are braces

There might be some regional differences with the later sets but the rounded ones have always been parentheses in American English to me.

Bracket (mathematics) - Wikipedia
This is indeed an AE/BE usage difference. Collins (@WRF) defines "bracket" as the general term
In simple arithmetic, such as in the OP, the term bracket, when used in BE, would be understood as what AE calls parenthesis -( ... ) . That is what I grew up with in the UK (and I learnt the AE distinction only after being corrected by a documentation editor at work). In a more complex formula, where more than one type of bracket is used, then terms need to be more specific. In the OP, however, the choice of symbol (, [ or { has no effect on the meaning of the formula. Whichever word is used, both "open bracket(s) (or parentheses)" and "close bracket(s)..." must be said to allow someone to write down the correct formula as they hear it read out loud.

#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
The math folks I know say 'bracket' and it's a generic term (three types: round, square, and curly}. The point is that some word must be used to reflect correctly a math expression.

IF one writes, "One plus two times three minus four" or says it, it's likely NOT to be understood as involving brackets or priority of operations.

#### The pianist

##### Senior Member
In mathematics, this is an 'open set' -----(0, 1). Parentheses.
This is a "closed set"------[0, 1] ------ brackets.
This is a set open on one end and closed on the other--------(0, 1].
In 'Set Theory' there is a distinct difference between a parenthesis and a bracket, both of which are shown above. All of the above sets are non-denumerably infinite.
I agree with kentix.

#### Uncle Jack

##### Senior Member
A person reading your sentence would not be doing the operations in the correct order, but in their order in your sentence.

J: J: "One plus two times three minus four". The person will do the addition first, based on your sentence, if it's standing alone.
If this is true, then the brackets, parenthesis or whatever you care to call them in "(1+2)x3" would make no difference, and you would say that "one plus two times three" and "open bracket one plus two close bracket times three" both equal nine.

Of course, there are many people who would say that the first one equals nine; however their failure to understand the correct order of mathematical operations would get them unstuck as soon as you reach "times seven" in the original question:
(1+2)×3-4+(5+6)×7+8+9​

The question that I was answering was how to accurately convey a written mathematical expression to another person (who understands the order of mathematical operations) by means of spoken words (via a phone call, for instance). I do not expect the person I am speaking to to do each calculation is it is spoken, but to either:
write it down​
remember it all and work it out at the end​
keep a running total, but not incorporate any additions or subtractions until the next operation is known (but this gets complicated if powers are involved).​

I don't see any need to consider people who don't know the order of operations, because they would not have arrived at 99 in the OP's calculation in the first place.

#### natkretep

##### Moderato con anima (English Only)
In AE (that I've used all my life)

( ) are parentheses
[ ] are brackets or square brackets
< > are angle brackets
{ } are braces

There might be some regional differences with the later sets but the rounded ones have always been parentheses in American English to me.
I think the common terms in BrE are:

( ) round brackets - or just brackets
[ ] square brackets
{ } curly brackets
< > angle brackets

We were taught the order of operations at primary school - known as BODMAS or BIDMAS (Brackets, Indices, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction)? See Order of operation - Revision 1 - KS3 Maths - BBC Bitesize

We certainly said 'brackets' in school. I've never heard of 'quantity of' used this way.

#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
I think the common terms in BrE are:

( ) round brackets - or just brackets
[ ] square brackets
{ } curly brackets
< > angle brackets

We were taught the order of operations at primary school - known as BODMAS or BIDMAS (Brackets, Indices, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction)? See Order of operation - Revision 1 - KS3 Maths - BBC Bitesize

We certainly said 'brackets' in school. I've never heard of 'quantity of' used this way.
So how do you speak this expression to convey it properly:
I am wondering how to read the following expression.
(1+2)×3-4 and this one 1 + 2x3 -4 {Excuse the 'x'; i have no raised dot }

"quantity" talk is common in the US. I'm not sure why it takes 10 posts to make the point that "quantity" and "end quantity" AE correspond to "open bracket" and "close bracket" (AE & BE), where the brackets can be round, a.k.a. 'parentheses'.

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#### natkretep

##### Moderato con anima (English Only)
With no visual cues? I'd say 'open bracket one plus two close bracket' as in a kind of dictation as mentioned by Uncle Jack. As it's the beginning of the expression, I might also say, 'one plus two in brackets'.

What are you trying to show by x? Is this just multiplication? Your 'raised dot' suggests that you're talking about index, as in

(1 + 2)3 - 4

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#### bennymix

##### Senior Member
Just multiplication. (just raised a little!).

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